Dictionary verb vor verb *ghabh- geben vorgeben


(vor verb)


to predetermine, to specify
(In the sense of someone setting some sort of frame or goal)
How useful:
to pretend
(In the sense of make believe. Sounds a little bit formal/high register. The more colloquial version is "so tun als ob" and it's way more common. )
How useful:
to give forward
(Very literally handing something forward from the rear. "nach vorne geben" is the more idiomatic choice, but technically, "vorgeben" means the same.)
How useful:


You need to be a member to see the examples.

Word Family

Root: *ghabh-

The core idea of this root was:

grabbing, taking

The meaning of geben and to give comes from the idea of grabbing something to hand it to someone, but the family is more diverse than that.
It’s also the origin of the families of habit and hibit, which both come from the Latin verb habere, which meant to hold. That’s also where able is from, which evolved from the word habilitate.

And also part of the family are due, duty and debt. They all go back to a Latin verb debere, which was about the idea of having to give someone something, and which is nothing other than a combination of de- with … habere again.
Here’s a list of the most important English relatives:

  • debt (having to give)
  • duty (having to give)
  • due (having to give)
  • able (capable of “holding”)
  • habit (something you “hold”)
  • inhabit (holding a place and living there)
  • inhibit (holding in)
  • exhibit (holding outward)
  • prohibit (holding/taking away)
  • to give
  • gift
  • forgive (give away)
0 0 votes
Article Rating

Questions and Comments

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Never miss out!

Join over 20.000 German learners and get my epic newsletter whenever I post a new article :)

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.